Utility company NYSEG will work to clean up a potentially deadly substance found on residential property in Lockport, but did not immediately say why it is getting involved.
Coal tar, a reddish-brown, oily and sticky substance, has been found at a residence on Transit Road, according to the Citizens Against Pollution of Niagara. Jean Kiene says the homeowner discovered the contaminant while digging into the property.
"Our concern is how far has this spread? It's really a strong carcinogenic!" exclaimed Kiene.
NYSEG told Spectrum News they are in the process of purchasing the home and are planning to demolish it. From there, they will complete tests for coal tar. Previously, they have not been able to complete the test because of how small the lot is.
The Department of Environmental Conservation stated that NYSEG purchased the property, which is immediately adjacent to the manufactured gas plant site. Coal tar is a byproduct of those plants.
Environmentalists said they want sampling performed throughout the neighborhood.
"They say they are going to do further sampling," said Michelle Roman, Citizens Against Pollution of Niagara. "I want to know how far are they sampling and I want to know if they are going to do a health survey of all the residents in the area."
The DEC also stated that the initial investigation showed the contamination is localized on one corner of the property, and that other properties were not believed affected, but additional soil testing will take place to determine that.